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This one’s popular here in Taiwan. It’s a 12 year old Benriach that’s been finished in both Oloroso and PX casks. The Taiwanese love their sherried whiskies, so this certainly fits the bill. This was one of my favourite go-to malts during my first couple years as a whisky enthusiast. This, Highland Park 12, Bunnahabhain 12, and a series of other reasonably priced and accessible malts were my early benchmarks for quality. It’s interesting to go back to them once in a while. Sometimes we’re disappointed by the whiskies we once regarded so highly, and sometimes they’re just as good as we remember them. It’s the latter, in this case.
Nose: Rich, sweet sherry, quite soft and delicate. Gentle caramel, raisins, sweet cinnamon, red apple skin, maraschino cherries, nutmeg, demerera sugar, plum, oak.
Palate: Medium mouthfeel, with brown sugar and baking spices on arrival. Big sherry, maple syrup, milk, Sugar Crisp cereal, raisins.
Finish: Medium, with a beautiful sweetness. Caramel, charred oak, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, sweet cinnamon, apricot, sultanas, maraschino cherries, plum, cream.
Thoughts: Really nice. The sherry finish has integrated beautifully with the spirit. It's a dessert dram for sure. As someone who's rather sensitive to these sweeter drams, I can vouch for this one. Sweet but never cloying. The brown sugar note enjoys a nice balance with the wine and wood notes. Rather gentle, with a certain creaminess rarely found in sherried whiskies. Character-wise, I'm reminded of Glenmo's Sonnalta PX. And for a fraction of the price, who are we to complain? Loads of character here, and great bang for buck. Recommended.